Time for Blacks to come in from the political cold

Egbert Gaye

Like most minority groups, the Black community spent the last 11 weeks as innocent bystanders in a long and rowdy election campaign, hardly hearing a thing about the issues that can help cement their place in Canada.
You see, as it has been since the first election was held in Canada in 1867, the under-representation of Blacks among the ranks of the three main political parties is glaring. So too are the tendencies of all the leaders to ignore us.
As such, our community cannot proclaim any real affinity to the Libeelections again 2015rals, the NDP or the Conservatives, because none has shown us any real love.
So we’re left to find our own reasons to support any of them.
The poll numbers point to a Justin Trudeau win and the Liberals wrestling power away from Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, either as a minority government or a majority.
The 46-year-old Trudeau, son of his father, emerged out of the extended campaign as a bit of a political star, defining himself as the only leader who is ready to spend Canada out of  its state of dormancy.
Eight years under the scalpel of Stephen Harper, a man determined to reconfigure the face of Canada into a leaner, meaner one, government spending has dwindled. An obvious casualty are the community groups that provide a range of front-line services.
So Trudeau’s decision to spend an additional $10 billion every year for the next three years on infrastructure and investing in families and services has to be welcome news for us in a community that depends on government intervention in various sectors of the economy.
Pay no mind to the stupid talk that it’s irresponsible spending, because $10 billion is akin to a drop in the swimming pool, considering the hundreds of billions of dollars the government spends each year.
Consider also that Blacks figure prominently among the one million Canadian families living under the poverty line in one of the richest countries on the planet,
and that our children are dropping out of school in massive numbers to join the ranks of the unemployed and the underemployed, we can do with some stimulus spending.
Those are some of the issues that will be on the minds of many Blacks on October 19 as they join millions of Canadians making their way to the polls.  They will also be thinking about access to social housing and how to fast-pace the process to have family members join them in Canada.
So for Black communities across Canada, although Trudeau’s policies seem most compatible to their needs, it really goes beyond the election of any one political party.
The need is for the 42nd government of Canada to finally come to terms with the presence of Blacks in Canada, their continued alienation, and figure out how to bring them in from the cold.